They worked like “Bees in a Hive” according to Professor Catharine Wilson who studies reciprocal work “bees” – barn raising and quilting bees. These events take us into the heart of neighbourhood, a defining part of rural life. Delving into old diaries, she analyzes why bees were necessary, who participated and how people met the challenges of helping others, feeding big crowds, and coping with accidents and fights. Her aim is to understand neighborhood in its real and idealized state - and why it matters.
Wilson, an award-winning scholar, holds the Francis and Ruth Redelmeier Professorship in Rural History.
The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.